Sunday, July 31, 2016

Obituaries - Bernardo Hernandez, Linda Fletcher, Daisye Ireland

Bernardo Hernandez, Sr. age 87, of Clewiston, passed away July 23, 2016 in Clewiston. He was born Aug. 20, 1928 in Consolacion Del Sur Pinar, Del Rio Cuba to Pastor and Margarita (Triena) Hernandez. Mr. Hernandez married Teresa Rodriguez.

Survivors include his wife: Teresa Hernandez, one son: Francisco Hernandez and four daughters: Carmen Torres, Rosa Hernandez, Miriam Hernandez and Teresita Perera, Twenty-Seven Grandchildren, Forty-five Great Grandchildren, Six Great-Great Grandchildren; Bernardo is preceded in death by his son; Jorge Hernandez, his daughter; Rosario Navarro Chuchi , his son; Marcelo Hernandez, and his son; Bernardo Hernandez, Jr.

Funeral service was held Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 10:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston with Rev. Guillermo A. Russo officiating. Interment was in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Visitation was Wednesday from 6:00-10:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Linda Diane Fletcher, age 64, of Clewiston, passed away July 27, 2016 in Clewiston. Diane was born Jan. 21, 1952 in Clewiston, FL, to the late Henry Thomas and the late Emily (Maddox) Rudd. 

Mrs. Fletcher married Ronald H. Fletcher. Diane worked at Westside Elementary for many years as their Computer Technician. She attended Clewiston Gospel Ministries.

Diane was a loving wife, mother, sister and grandmother who was loved by everyone who knew her and she will be greatly missed.

Survivors include her husband: Ronald H. Fletcher and one son: Wesley Fletcher and his wife Brenda of Clewiston, FL, three brothers: James Douglas Rudd and his wife Peggy of Clewiston, FL, Steven Henry Rudd and his wife Teresa of Clewiston, FL and Jeffery Earl Rudd and his wife Lisa of Clewiston, FL, and three sisters: Gwendolyn C. Hare and her husband Bobby of Clewiston, FL, Brenda Gail Murphy and her husband Mitch of Clewiston, FL and Deborah Lynn Keen and her husband Cecil of Clewiston, FL, two grandchildren, Logan Fletcher and Hunter Fletcher.

Diane's Celebration of Life will  be held Monday, August 1, 2016 at 11:00 am at Clewiston Gospel Ministries, Clewiston with Rev. Jim Yates officiating. Interment in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven. Visitation was Sunday from 3-5p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Daisye P. Ireland, age 85, of LaBelle, passed away July 27, 2016 in Lehigh Acres. She was born Jan. 14, 1931 in Alliance, NC, to the late John Albert and the late Rena (West) Paul.

Daisye was a member of the Carlson Memorial United Methodist Church. She was a faithful Christian, wife, mother, grandmother and friend who will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her daughters: Paula Burton (Jeff) and Rena I. DiPofi (Kevin), sisters: Mary Newton (Paul) and Helene Cheek, grandchildren, Joe, Rachel, Rhonda, Alton, Ronnie; great grandchild, Weston; sister-in-law, Gladys Lee (Jack) and sister-in-law, Oma Riggs, sister-in-law, Ann Paul and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Alton Ray Ireland, brothers: Willie Albert Paul and Joseph West Paul, sister-in-law Glenda Mayo (Hallett), brother-in-laws: Ralph Lee, Clifton Ireland (Louise) and Guy Ireland.

Funeral services were held Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 11:00 am at Carlson Memorial United Methodist Church, LaBelle with David Mullins officiating. Visitation was Saturday one hour prior to service at Carlson Memorial United Methodist Church, LaBelle, FL. Interment in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Friday, July 29, 2016

James Naso Dead In Motorcycle Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- James Naso, 40 of LaBelle died in a crash Thursday night about 9:48 p.m. on State Road 29 near Felda in Hendry county. Naso was a Glades county Sheriff's Deputy.

Driving a 2007 Honda CBR1000 motorcycle, Naso was southbound on SR-29, north of CR-832 (Keri Rd) as Jose Sanchez, 28 of LaBelle driving a 1995 Peterbuilt  was northbound on SR-29, north of CR-832.

As Naso's cycle approached the truck, the cycle failed to maintain it's lane and veered into the northbound lane of SR-29. Sanchez swerved right in an attempt to avoid the collision. The front left of the motorcycle struck the left side of the Peterbuilt.

The cycle was redirected to the right and began to overturn, Naso was ejected from the motorcycle which came to final rest in the water filled canal on the west side of SR-29. Naso came to final rest on the grassy shoulder on the west side of the roadway.

The Peterbuilt was driven to a controlled stop on the grassy shoulder on the east side of the roadway.

The accident is under investigation and the FHP says it is yet undetermined if alcohol was a factor for the motorcycle driver. He was not wearing a helmet.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Raven Loredo, David Aguirre Arrested In Robbery

LABELLE, FL. -- Raven Loredo and David Aguirre, Jr, have been arrested on charges stemming from a gas station robbery Wednesday night.

On July 27, 2016, at approximately 9 pm, Hendry County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a robbery at the Shell Gas Station in Felda. When they arrived, they were met by the victims; the store manager and the cashier.

The victims told deputies that they had three calls that evening, all from the same number, asking the same question “Is the manager there?” They were locking up the store for the night when two suspects armed, dressed in black, gloves, bandanas around their mouth and face area and hoodies, approached the vehicle.

One suspect, believed to be a male, began yelling at them "where's the money", while the other suspect proceeded to fire a warning shot in the air. The suspect that fired the gun also fired two shots into the passenger side window of the victim's car in an attempt to get to the glove compartment to check for money. 

Once the suspect with the gun didn't locate any money in the car they turned the gun on the manager and took his wallet with his credit cards and personal information.

Deputies took statements and a description of the vehicle they were driving and put out a BOLO.

A phone number that had called the store was connected to a Facebook account from one of the suspects. Deputies received information that the manager's credit card had just been used at a local Circle K. HCSO deputies met investigators at the store and were able to identify one of the suspects as 23-year old Raven Loredo.

Sheriff Steve Whidden located the suspect vehicle in the LaBelle Walmart parking lot. As the suspects exited the store, they were detained without incident.

Deputies found three of the victim’s credit cards, marijuana, and drug equipment on Raven Loredo and two of the victim’s credit cards on the second suspect person, 17-year old, David Aguirre Jr.

Deputies were able to recover all of the items and receipts purchased with the victim’s credit cards as well as the victim’s wallet.

Loredo was arrested on charges of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm, 2 Weapons Offenses, Burglary to a Vehicle, Robbery with a Firearm, Fraud-Illegal use of a Credit Card, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Loredo is being held at the Hendry County Jail on $87,500 bond.

Aguirre was arrested on charges of Robbery with a Firearm. Aguirre was transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice, where he is currently being held.

"Glades Lives Matter" Meeting Friday At 6 P.M.

CLEWISTON, FL – Following the many months of threats by activists to “buy the land,” “flood the fields,” and send dirty water south, community leaders, pastors, and members of the #GladesLivesMatter movement will hold a town hall meeting at the New Harvest Church in Clewiston tomorrow, July 29 at 6 PM.

The purpose of the meeting is to inform the members of the Glades communities about decisions that could cause damage to our way of life. Food and refreshments will be served.

Glades Lives Matter, Inc. is a 20-day old non-profit corporation whose officers are: Hendry County Commissioner Janet Taylor of Clewiston, Anna Littles of Clewiston, and Katia Saint Fleur of Miami.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Music At L.J. Nobles Center Friday

LABELLE, FL. --  Join Marlin Yelton and Cor-Nan Coldiron Fridays from 12 to 2 p.m. for country music, singing and jamming at the L.J. Nobles Senior Center on Cowboy Way (The Hope Center next to the airport).

Bring yourself, friends, a musical instrument and join in for an informal music session every Friday featuring bluegrass, mountain, and country songs. Open to all for your playing or listening enjoyment.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Walk Across Florida - Gold Head State Park

Excerpts from A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

At times I had some unusual happenings on my cross state adventure. The following is one of them. This part of my story also continues to show the friendliness of strangers I met along the way.

It was chilly and damp from the weather the previous night….

My map showed me that there was a railroad “Y” just south of Starke on the main Seaboard Air Line track heading towards Gainesville. This would take me towards the east a couple of miles…...

I headed down the railroad track and sure enough, there was the “Y” and the Seaboard Air Line branch line heading east. There was a railroad freight station almost at the “Y”. A station attendant hollered in a friendly way to me as I walked by,

“I bet when you get to a stream you’ll take a swim!” I laughed and shook my head yes.

It was nice hiking this old track. It was also overgrown like the two other tracks I had been on. The ties were sunk in the dirt, consequently there were no bumps. It was very much like hiking a woodland trail….

There was a dark oil stain down the center of the tracks. I guessed that the diesel switcher that made this run must be a very old veteran. According to my map the railroad curved to the northeast and that was when I should find a road on the right heading south. The track made its turn to the northeast. There then appeared on the left side of the tracks signs on some pine trees:

Posted No Hunting Keep Out

Du Pont Industries

My map had the crossed picks on it which stood for a mining operation. A small one-lane paved road came in from the left; it had a cattle guard across it. This road crossed the tracks so I took it to the right. I didn’t see any signs there. As I came out of the extreme dense vegetation along the railroad right-of-way, I was surprised. I was now in what had the appearance of desert-drifting sand dunes with occasional clumps of grass and low bushes hanging on precariously. It was really a mined over area. They had removed all of the top soil, took what they were looking for and left just sand. It seems that this mining operation was very large, for as far as I could see there was just sand and scrub vegetation.

I have since done some research on this Du Pont mining. The area is called the Trail Ridge Deposit*. It was discovered by Du Pont geologists in 1947. In it were heavy titanium minerals such as ilmenite, leucoxene and rutile…..

After about three miles I came to an intersection. There was another fence across the road that I was on….a sign proclaimed:

Road Closed Detour Impact Rd

Travel Safely

Stabilized by US Eng. Btn.

I took the road, supposedly called Impact Road heading east. There was no street sign on a post. After a couple of miles on this bright, hot, sandy road, I came to a small creek and filled my canteens. I didn’t know exactly where I was but I was heading in the right direction. In about 4 miles I came to a huge shiny aluminum tower on the left. I started to pass it but then reconsidered. I’d go up and look around, maybe I could see that forest tower that appeared on my map near the Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park. This would be my next destination and hopefully campsite for the evening. I set my pack down and started up. There were nice metal stairs and a handrail, freshly painted silver. On the top it had a roof and except for the posts holding it up and the metal locked shed, it was open with a railing all around. I was about 60 feet up and it was nice and windy up here This sure wasn’t a fire tower! The view was great. There was a clearing, and I could see water towers to the north and lots of lakes. I couldn’t see the fire tower southeast towards my destination. It was somewhat far away. I climbed down and was just about to put on my pack, when I saw a sign lying face down in the dirt at the base of the tower. My curiosity got the best of me and I flipped it over. It read,

Navy Bombing

Target Tower

About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Obituaries - Rafael Miranda, Ralph Taylor

Rafael Miranda, age 89, of LaBelle, passed away July 20, 2016 in LaBelle. He was born July 7, 1927 in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, to the late Pablo and the late Aurelia (Febo) Miranda.

He is survived by his wife: Delia Reyes, son: Carlos Miranda, three sisters: Ana Miranda, Josefina Miranda and Carmen Miranda, grandchildren, Ivonne Miranda-Lomax and Natalie Miranda.

Funeral services will be held Monday, July 25, 2016 at 11:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle. Visitation will be one hour prior to service at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL. Interment with military honors will be Monday, July 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm in Sarasota National Cemetery, Sarasota, FL.

Ralph L. Taylor, age 87, of Felda, was called home by the Lord July 21, 2016 in peace at home. He was born Mar. 9, 1929 in Felda, FL, to the late Emory S. and the late Elsie (Sumner) Taylor.

Ralph was a lifetime resident of Felda. He was a deacon of the Mount Zion Primitive Baptist Church.

He is survived by his sons: James R. Taylor (Diane), Paul E. Taylor (Sandra), David Taylor; daughters: Joanne T. Sutton (Phillip), Martha E. Estep (Bob), eight grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Martha Comella Taylor and brothers, Stancil Taylor and Norman Taylor.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 11:00 am at Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church, with elder Hollis Albritton, Jr. officiating. Interment will be in Felda Cemetery, Felda. Visitation will be Monday, July 25, 2016 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home – LaBelle.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Obituaries - Glen Hudson, Daniel Piotrowski

Glen Dee Hudson, age 77, of LaBelle, passed away suddenly July 19, 2016 at his home. He was born Apr. 22, 1939 in Westville, FL, to the late Walter Lee and Elvie Mae (Lashley) Hudson. 

Mr. Hudson married Sandra Faye Tillman. He served in the United States Army for two years in the Military Police division, receiving the Good Conduct Medal and Marksman Badge. He work for the Florida Department of Transportation for many years as a heavy equipment operator.

Survivors include his wife: Sandra Faye Hudson and two sons: Ronnie Hudson of LaBelle, FL and Michael Hudson of Ocala, FL, two sisters: Margaret Gunter and Mavis Hawthorn, Grandchildren: Randy Hudson, Amanda Hudson, Noah Pierson, Arthur Pierson, Emily Hudson, Ana Maria Hudson and McKenzie Hudson.

Glen was preceded in death by his parents, son; Randy Hudson, who passed away in 1990, grandson, Ronnie Hudson, Jr who passed away in 2011.

Celebration of Glen's Life will be held Friday, July 22, 2016 at 11:00 am at Caloosa Baptist Church, LaBelle with Dr. Les Morgan presiding. Interment with Military Honors conducted by the LaBelle American Legion in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation will be Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.

Daniel Lawrence Piotrowski, age 64, of Clewiston, passed away July 19, 2016 in Lehigh Acres with his loving husband at his side. Daniel was born in Utica, New York on July 18, 1952 to Richard and Julia Young Piotrowski. 

Daniel married Kenneth R. Alford. He worked for over 25 years as a Registered Nurse. He served his country proudly in the United States Army. He enjoyed playing the trumpet.

Daniel is survived by his loving husband of nineteen years; Kenneth R. Alford of Clewiston, Florida, his loving father; Richard Piotrowski of New Hartford, New York, his loving step-mother; Donna Piotrowski of Rome, New York, his caring siblings; Richard Piotrowski of Oviedo, Florida, Charmayne Talerico of Longs, South Carolina, Alan Piotrowski of Jacksonville, Florida, David Piotrowski of Longs , South Carolina, and Deana Gifune of Rome, New York, daughters; Sherry Ryczek of Albany, New York and Tina Piotrowski of Amsterdam, New York. Three grandsons and 2 granddaughters also survive Daniel.

Daniel was a loving and caring husband, son, brother, father, grandfather, and a delightful person to be around, who will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Cremation arrangements are being handled by Akin-Davis Funeral Home- Clewiston.

Firehouse Players Ready For Coming Season

LABELLE, FL. -- The Firehouse Community Theatre season kicks off on October 28th with "Farce of Nature", a comedy about the crazy happenings at the finest little fishing lodge in the Ozarks. This play will win you over - hook, line and sinker. 

Then in December, get into the season with "Humbug", a Christmas Carol with a modern twist. If you ride by the Firehouse Theatre, you will see a kite in the oak tree. The kite, along with a big yellow sign is an exciting announcement of "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" (The Musical). It will please audiences of all ages in January. 

At the end of February, get ready to laugh along with "Drinking Habits II" where the Sisters of the Perpetual Sewing are back for more high jinks. 

In March, you can put on your boots for "A Little Bit Country", a fun musical review of some of your favorite country songs. For the final production (not part of season tickets) the "Off-Bridge-Street Production" will present "On Golden Pond", a funny study of an elderly couple facing their twilight years.

Open try-outs will be on Saturday, August 6th at 10am at the Firehouse Theatre on Bridge Street in LaBelle.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Edward Christmas Dies At 86

Edward Earl Christmas, age 86, of LaBelle, passed away July 10, 2016 in Fort Myers. He was born June 30, 1930 in Campbellton, FL, to the late Chambliss and the late Lavada (Larrimore) Christmas.

Survivors include his wife: Mary Ruth (Allen) Christmas, sons: Ralph Edward (Barbara) Christmas of Winter Haven and Matthew Allen (Lindsay) Christmas of North Fort Myers, daughters: Merry (Greg) Kelly of LaBelle and Jennfier Nicole (Steven) DeFalco of Fort Myers, sisters: Linda Thornton and Mary Asher, brother: James Christmas, grandchildren: Crystal Byers, Rachal Christmas, Jessica Blocker, Michaila Kelly, Shelba Kelly, Aniston DeFalco and Caprice DeFalco, Noah Hopkins, Savannah Hopkins and Olivia Hopkins and eight great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 10:00 am at Community Harvest Worship Center, LaBelle with Pastor L. W. Howard officiating. Interment will be Wednesday, July 20, 2016 in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Fallen Heroes Benefit July 23

Bonnie Akin Crouch Dies At 96

Bonnie Helen Akin Crouch, age 96 died on Friday, July 15, 2016 in Clewiston. Bonnie was born on July 28, 1919 in Hoffman, North Carolina, to Nathaniel and Ella Cohen Archer. She married James Alton Akin, who preceded her in death on October 23, 1951, then she married Robert Crouch and he preceded her in death in 1985. She was a loving wife and homemaker raising her family.

Bonnie is survived by her three loving and caring daughters; Bonnie Adams and her husband Charles of Clewiston, Jimmie Sue Akin of Clewiston and Cecilia Maxham of Fort Myers, grandchildren; Renee Flynn, Krista Anderson and Trey Maxham, seven great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren and many extended family members and friends.

Bonnie was preceded in death by her two husbands, one granddaughter; Rhonda Varnadoe and seven brothers; Gip Archer, Newt Archer, Graham Archer, Woodrow Archer, Glenn Archer, Robert Archer and Leon Archer.

Bonnie's life will be celebrated on Monday, July 18, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in New Harvest Church in Clewiston with Pastor Chuck Pelham presiding. Burial will be immediately following the service in Ortona Cemetery. Visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, July 17, 2016 in Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

In lieu of flowers Bonnie's family suggest donations be given to the National Arthritis Foundation 1355 Peachtree St NE Suite 600 Atlanta, GA 30309 or a charity of your choice in Bonnie's name.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Community Clean Up Saturday - Food & Music

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The Hookers Point & Harlem Community Clean up will be on Saturday, July 16 from 9am-4pm at the County Satellite Offices, 1100 S. Olympia Street.

FREE Drop Off & Disposal of Your Items (yard debris, tires, TV's, hazardous waste & more)

Food, Drinks & Music will be available.

Participants will be entered to win a gift card!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Obituaries - Elsie Cross, James Goebel, Pearl Lee

Elsie M Cross, age 87, of Moore Haven, passed away July 5, 2016 in her daughter's home with her loving children at her side.

Elsie was born in Albany, New York on February 23, 1929 to Edward and Georgeanna Mosley McDonald. She married Lawrence Cross, who preceded her in death in 1963. Elsie worked for over 30 years for Pizza Hut in Estelle, Georgia retiring as Assistant Restaurant Manager.

Elsie is survived by her loving daughters; Geraldine Burleson and her husband Erlie of Moore Haven, Florida, Julie Elam and her husband Willie of Louisville, Kentucky, Lory Williams of Atlanta, Georgia, and one son, Billy Hagan and his wife Autumn of Hanahan, South Carolina, one sister; Sandra Bentley and her husband Wes, Elsie also has 10 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and 1 great - great grandchild.

Elsie's family request memorial donations be made to Hope Hospice – team 420 in her name. Cremation rites are being accorded by Akin-Davis Funeral Home of Clewiston.

James Joseph Goebel, age 63, of LaBelle
, passed away unexpectedly on July 6, 2016 in LaBelle.

He was born June 23, 1953 in Iaeger, WV, to the late James Luther and Josephine (Roberts) Goebel. Mr. Goebel married Debra Hammons. James worked as a boiler mechanic for Southern Gardens and Duda for many years. He enjoyed riding his motorcycle, and spending time with family and friends.

James is survived by his mother; Josephine of Weirsdale, loving wife; Debra of LaBelle, daughters; Felicia Howard and her husband Seth of LaBelle, Ginger Marte and husband Philip of Cape Coral, brother; Timothy Goebel, and five grandchildren.

Celebration of James' life was held 7:00 p.m. Tuesday in Akin-Davis Funeral Home- LaBelle, where a visitation was from 5-7 p.m. Graveside service was held at 9:30 a.m. in Forest Hill Cemetery in Weirsdale, Florida on Wednesday morning.

Pearl June Lee, age 62, of LaBelle, passed away July 9, 2016 in Lehigh Acres. She was born Oct. 14, 1953 in Fort Myers, FL, to the late Jimmy Martinez and Louise (McClenithan) Greene.

June loved everything outdoors, hunting fishing and riding in an airboat. She loved her family, especially her grandchildren.

She is survived by her son: JR Williams (Audrey Gibson), longtime companion: Robert Roberts, sisters: Lois Ann Gayle, Virginia Sherrelle Williams, grandchildren: Bailey Williams, Danielle Williams; great grandchildren, Dailyn A. and David C.; nieces, Dalesha Lisenby, Angie Lozano; great nephews, Nicholas Wasson, Logan Dugue and great niece, Halieanna Lozano

She was preceded in death by her father, Jimmy Martinez.

A graveside service was held Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 9:00 am at Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle with Pastor Mitchell Wills officiating. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Matthew Harris Dies In Crash

A Broward county man died in an early morning crash in Lee county Tuesday, reported the Florida Highway Patrol.

Matthew Harris, 28  of Hollywood, Fl. was southbound on Ben Hill Griffin Pkwy in the outside lane just north of FGCU Blvd at 1:40 a.m. Tuesday morning. He lost control of a 2003 Volvo and the car proceeded to rotate counterclockwise while traveling in a south easterly direction.

The vehicle crossed the inside lane and entered the grass median, began to rotate clockwise while traveling south in the grass median. The left side struck a tree causing the car to overturn which came to final rest facing north in the grass median.

Monday, July 11, 2016

What You Should Know About Cancer Center Advertising

Cancer Centers Promote Cancer Therapy With Emotional Appeals
Cancer centers promoting their services dramatically increased their advertising spending from 2005 to 2014, with the bulk of the spending by for-profit organizations, according to the results of a study published Monday.

“Spending on cancer center advertising has more than tripled since 2005, and a small percent of cancer centers are responsible for the majority of spending. Patients should be aware that cancer centers that spend the most on advertising may not necessarily provide the highest quality of cancer care,” said study first author Laura Vater, M.P.H., a fourth-year medical student at the IU School of Medicine.

Additional work is needed to better understand how advertising may affect the cost and quality of care, she said.

“More work is needed to understand the effects of cancer center advertising on the web, as more and more people search for health information online,” said senior author Yael Schenker, M.D., assistant professor in the Pitt School of Medicine. “One concern is that when advertisements are listed at the top of internet search results, patients may have trouble finding and recognizing good information.”

Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Graduate School of Public Health reported that 890 cancer centers spent $173 million for advertising in 2014, and just 20 centers accounted for 86 percent of the spending.

One company, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a for-profit firm with a national network of five hospitals, spent $101.7 million, 59 percent of the total. In contrast, 25 of the nation’s 60 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers spent no money on advertising, and of those that did, half spent less than $4,000, the authors said.

Of the 20 centers that accounted for the bulk of spending, five were for-profit institutions, 17 were Commission on Cancer-accredited and nine were NCI-designated centers.

The report was published Monday by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

In a 2014 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Vater and colleagues analyzed the content of cancer center advertising and concluded that “clinical advertisements by cancer centers frequently promote cancer therapy with emotional appeals that evoke hope and fear while rarely providing information about risks, benefits, costs or insurance availability.”

For the new study, the researchers used data from Kantar Media, an agency that tracks advertising and calculates expenditures. They obtained data for television, magazine, radio, newspaper, billboard and internet advertising. The expenditures were adjusted to 2014 U.S. dollars using the Consumer Price Index.

The researchers also identified the centers that were NCI-designated, accredited by the Commission on Cancer, were not-for-profit versus for-profit organizations, and by location.

Spending in all advertising categories grew from 2005 to 2014, led by television where $37 million was spent in 2005, rising to a peak of $107 million in 2011. Television spending declined somewhat after that, but still stood at $87 million in 2014. Print media spending rose from $11 million to $34 million. In a time when internet advertising was growing, cancer center online ads were among them—internet display advertisements rose from $300,000 in 2005 to $9 million in 2014.

After Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the two biggest advertisers in 2014 were MD Anderson Cancer Center, which spent $13.9 million, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at $9.1 million.

The authors noted that the expenditure calculations could be low because advertising in cancer-specific magazines was not included, nor was advertising by affiliated organizations designed to encourage charitable donations.

A Walk Across Florida - Osceola National Forest

Excerpts From A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich
When I was in high school, 10 through 12 grades, I lived in Drew Park, Tampa, Florida. This area originally was a Army-Air base during the Second World War. When I lived there it was no longer a military base but a built over residential and light industrial area. I belonged to a small but great Boy Scout troop in Drew Park. We camped a lot in areas around Tampa. But I never saw many animals or signs. During my trip across Florida, just the opposite happened….I came upon gators, moccasins, deer, scorpions and notice evidence of bear and panther.

I soon found myself hiking along and singing my favorite camping and hiking tunes. It was a good thing no one could hear me. When the trail is flat or gradual downhill it’s a nice way to pass the miles and time away. I noticed that the pines along here were a good height, about 50-60 feet as an average. Every now and then I would come upon a small thinned out area, about an acre or two. I wondered about this, and I found out later that these thinned out areas serve more than one purpose. First a national forest actually harvests and replants the timber. Second is the fact that thinned out areas produce brush and plants that wild game feed on……...

I was very impressed by the extent of the pine forest in north Florida. Here I had been walking for a day and a half, and except for a few logged areas, it was all pine trees. About a mile farther as I was looking down I suddenly saw some very large tracks in the damp, sandy road. They looked, (and I didn’t want to think it), like large cat tracks. They were heading along the road in the same direction I was going. I set my pack down and traced the approximate outline onto my notepad. It may have been a panther.

Florida panthers can weigh up to 150 pounds and can measure up to 8 feet long from the nose to the tip of the tail. They can be found in pine forest and hardwood hammocks. They may also be found in swampy areas. Their range is from 70 to as much as 270 square miles. They are nocturnal, will sleep in the day and hunt at night, dusk and dawn. Their hunting takes them in a zig-zag pattern. They can swim and also cross rivers or lakes. Panthers have a very good sense of smell, their vision encompasses 130 degrees, and they have excellent sight. They can run in a sprint, (a few hundred yards) up to 35 miles per hour, but prefer to stalk their prey which is primarily deer and wild hogs.

As I was concentrating on this find, a car suddenly approached. As it drew abreast of me, we all waved. A ranger was driving and a couple of persons were with him. I thought to myself, there go my panther prints. Sure enough, most of them were gone, tire tracks now in their place. It was a good thing that I had just finished the tracing.
About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or

Friday, July 08, 2016

Monkey Breeding Farms Legal In Ruling Today

LABELLE, FL. -- Friday afternoon Judge James D. Sloan, of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, issued his ruling of the Williams Stephens, Carol Grey, and Keely Cinkota vs. Hendry County case in favor of Hendry County, saying the county did not violate the Florida Sunshine Law in granting permission for monkey breeding facilities in the county.

“We are pleased with Judge Sloan’s ruling upholding our constant assertions that Hendry County did not violate Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law. Our legal team is to be commended, especially County Attorney Mark Lapp,” says Charles Chapman, County Administrator.

"Hendry County continues to stand by the rights provided to our property owners contained within the language of our comprehensive plan and land development code," said a press release issued this afternoon.

The county may ask the court to award attorney's fees and costs as the prevailing party.,

Consumer Alert - Action Cooling & Heating

FORT MYERS, FL. -- Calling for a $39.95 complete tune up of your air conditioner will most likely results in a hard-sell pitch to purchase expensive new equipment, mold protection, UV lights, or duct cleaning and repair, say customers of Action Cooling & Heating, Inc.

The Better Business Bureau has 18 complaints logged against the business in the last three years, and six in the last 12 months. 10 were advertising and sales issues, seven product and service issues, and one billing problem. The BBB cites five negative customer experience stories with Action Cooling & Heating and one positive.

The BBB gives no rating for the 12 year old business saying "BBB is evaluating a pattern of complaints before issuing a rating."

Yelp has four negative reviews of the company all giving Action Cooling And Heating a one-star rating, alleging over-charging for services.

Google Reviews have 22 customer comments, some alleging scams or ripoffs, the most recent from two weeks ago.

The company's own Facebook page has some serious negative reviews:

A dissatisfied customer said on Action's Facebook page, "...installed a new ac unit for 7k in 2013 for my elderly mom then came back and said they needed more stuff to a tune of 4k. But guess what, last month they came in to do the preventive maintenance and this time she needed more things (one was only 6 months (old) for another 4300. I tried to contact the manager to ask why they keep replacing stuff that is not old but alas three days (3 calls I made to them each day) and I am still waiting."

One customer said "They had to reschedule one time and tonight when they were scheduled to come out, they never did. I called their number and the after hours lady said she would pass my info along to the tech. I never heard another word from them."

Another customer on Facebook said, " company sends a tech out only to find there was a leak and no freon, unit is in good condition and working well even after action cooling told me the unit had died and needed to be replaced."

The company's website offers a $39.95 air conditioner tune up that on one page is advertised as a "Complete 16 point tune up" and on another page a "44 point cleaning, tune-up, and inspection," The website claims "100% satisfaction guaranteed or you pay nothing" for the 44 point inspection.

The company is owned by William A. Stross (President) and Noel Torres (Vice President). Thurman Lee Whitacre II's air conditioning license is being used to operate as an air conditioning contractor.

Whitacre was a co-owner of Adams Air Conditioning of Lee County, Inc. which closed in 2006 and Air-Tron Air Conditioning LLC which closed in 2015.

Stross and Torres own Action Properties of Lee County, Inc., and previously owned Affordable Heating & Cooling, Inc. which closed in 2012, also TS Auto Brokers, Inc which shut down in 2013 and N.A.D. Properties, Inc.,  closed in 2009.

Advice: Check out references and reviews for any contractor, get more than one estimate if the price seems excessive and be aware that technicians visiting your home are often paid on commission not hourly, and have an incentive to sell you service and equipment that might not be necessary. It is unlikely a relatively new air conditioner will need expensive repairs and very unlikely it needs replacement. Usual typical home AC items to fix are unclogging the drain and a capacitor replacement if your AC stops working, both under a half hour to fix.

BBB Complaints
Google Search For Complaints
Yelp Reviews
Action Cooling & Heating Facebook Reviews
News-Press Story on Action Cooling & Affordable Heating

Photo: Google Ad Images

Kiwanis Beauty Pageant Enrollment

LABELLE, FL. -- all girls age 2-19. LaBelle Kiwanis Club will be hosting a pageant for all girls age 2 to 19 from the LaBelle Area on September 17, 2016 at the American Legion, Post 130. 

The winners will represent the Kiwanis Club, and the community at various functions. This is a beauty only pageant, so no speeches to prepare or on stage questions to answer. Kick off for the pageant is Monday, August 1, 2016 at the Kiwanis Thrift Store. 

Should you have any questions, please contact Jackie Zavala at 863-675-4043, or stop by the Kiwanis store for more details & applications.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

John Bamburg Dies At 83

John T. Bamburg, age 83, of Clewiston, passed away July 1, 2016 in Clewiston. John was born Sep. 18, 1932, in Blounstown, FL, to John and Mary Ellen (Meredith) Bamburg. Mr. Bamburg married Janice Stanford July 6, 1976 in LaBelle, Florida. He retired as Technical Staff Sergeant from the United States Air Force after serving his country for almost 21 years.

John is survived by his loving wife of 40 years; Janice Bamberg of Clewiston, Florida, children; John Wesley Bamberg of Blounstown, Florida, Tiffany Jarvis and her husband Tom of Clewiston, Florida, Donna Martinez and her husband Cande of Lehigh Acres, Florida, and Melissa Martin of Blounstown, Florida, his thirteen grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, his brother; Charles Willard Bamburg of Clewiston, Florida and his sister; Shirley Martin of Virginia.

Celebration of John's life will be held at 11 am. Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Akin-Davis Funeral Home Chapel in LaBelle, where visitation will be one hour before the service. Burial with military honors will be held in Ortona Cemetery immediately following the celebration.

On The River - Photo of the Week

LABELLE, FL. -- Photo by Darlene Soud taken July 4, 2016 at the LaBelle Bridge on the Caloosahatchee River before the fireworks display began. Darlene is the LaBelle Kiwanis Treasurer. (Click on photo for larger size)

Saturday, July 02, 2016

A Walk Across Florida - North To Go South

Excerpts from A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

During my hiking adventure I had many brief encounters with helpful and very friendly people. My story is not the usual trail hiking book. I traveled across country using sand roads, grass-covered railroad grades, rural secondary roads, deserted highways, trails through national forests, a levee, a coral-limestone road along the drainage canal through the Big Cypress Swamp, and the old road through the Keys as much as I could. I had to resupply once a week in small towns at their only grocery store. Because of this I was blessed to be able to meet a wide variety of local people.

I had to turn down generous souls offering me ride after ride from cars, trucks and even a Greyhound bus! People immediately helped me when I really needed cross two very dangerous bridges in the Keys. They gave me food and drink, boat rides, tours around their small town and information. Every fire tower I climbed, rangers invited me up. This trip showed me Florida’s real treasure…..its people.

Going North to Go South

I guess I must have been daydreaming as I walked along.

Had it been an hour or two since I left the Lake City roadside? There’s the junction 41 heading northwest and the 441 due north, the one I wanted. I headed to the right and started up the highway. Hey! That pickup’s stopping up ahead. I started to run, Ever try to run with 60 pounds extra on your back and just flopping around from side-to-side? It just doesn’t work very well.

I tossed my pack in the rear and climbed aboard. We bounced back on to the highway.

“Where you heading son?” He said.

Not wanting to brag about cross-state. “I'm going to start at the Georgia border and hike down through Osceola.”

“Shucks son, ain’t nothing here to see ‘cept old pine trees.”

I had heard this kind of attitude before from locals on my hike across the Shenendoah Valley, and I had my reply ready.

“Yes sir, but you see I’m from Tampa and we don’t have any forests like this in the city, nor any logging operations.” (It seems that most of us are not aware of the beauty around us. We just take it for granted.)

He looked up, “As a matter-of-fact, I’m cutting a bunch of them now. I've got a logging operation go’n on now, right off this highway. If you want, I can take you back in and show you what I’m doing.”

“That would be great, sir!” and I really meant it.

You’ll be right on the Georgia border but there won’t be any highway sign, only forest.”

I thought of not getting a picture of a border highway sign, but I didn’t want to miss this. We bounced off the highway and headed into the forest on a graded sand road, tall pine trees on either side. There was a glow of light in the sky overhead. Those pine trees had some color on their very tops.

“There’s Benton Tower,” he said.

I could see its base through the trees on the left. Sure enough, my map had shown a state fire tower in this area. I had been studying the northernmost map quite a lot the last few days at home. We turned a sharp left and best I could make out was that we were heading north. He started to slow down for an old wood timber bridge over a small stream.

“Might see some otter here son. They play around a lot near this bridge.” We approached slow and quiet, but I was to be disappointed. I made a mental note, he was conscious of nature around him.

“How about the water in this area?” I questioned.

“No worry,” he spoke up. “don’t mind the clear brown color, it’s from the tannic acid in the trees. Just as long as it’s movin’, I’ve drank it all my life.”

I could hear the sharp whine of a chain saw now, as well as the running of a powerful engine.

“There’s my operation now,” he said, “and we’re right near the Georgia border.”

The truck bounced up off the sand road and into the clearing. We got out. He headed over and spoke to one of the men driving a huge tractor-type vehicle with large wheels (a skidder). I looked around. All that remained in the clearing was a few saplings, a lot of stumps and lots of broken branches. They sure cleared it out, I thought. In the back near the tall trees, two men were cutting away with chain saws. I had never seen this kind of saw before. It had a big 360 degree circular track for the blade instead of the usual long thin rectangular type.

There was also a tractor-trailer half full of logs and a truck with a boom for loading what the skidder pulled over to it.

The logger came back, “How about it?” he said.

“Real interesting sir.”

“Well I got’ta go, lot of trees to cut. Take it easy son.”

I shouldered my pack and headed back the way we had come in. Walking down the road I could hear the high pitched whine of the chain saws chewing up pine trees in the background.

About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or